Gorillaz made Grammy Awards history at Los Angeles' Staples Center last night (08FEB06) when they became the first animated group to open the prize giving.

The quirky group, founded by Blur's Damon Albarn and animator Jamie Howlett kicked off music's big night with their hit Feel Good Inc, and as the cartoon band performed on a huge black screen, Madonna joined them to perform her smash-hit HUNG UP.

Wearing a shimmering lilac leotard and matching corset, the MATERIAL GIRL wowed the Grammy audience and viewers by performing with the Gorillaz as her backing band.

The carefully-choreographed routine featured Madonna dancing in front of the animated group as they appeared to watch her every move and provide the backing to her hit.

Madonna then amazed everyOne by appearing to actually join the animated group, walking among the cartoon members as if they were actually on stage with her - before taking to an adjoining platform to perform with real-life dancers.

Recording Academy President Neil Portnow explained the ambitious opening performance was "one of the most complicated production numbers we've ever undertaken."

The performance relied on three-dimensional holographic-style animation.

Other live highlights at the Grammys were provided by British rockers Coldplay, U2, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Bruce Springsteen and Sir Paul McCartney.

The night's other show-stopping collaborations included rocker Bono's duet with Mary J Blige on U2 hit ONE and an all-star tribute to funk legend Sly Stone, which featured Joss Stone, John Legend, MAROON 5, Ciara and THE BLACK EYED PEAS star WILL.I.AM.

Reclusive Stone joined AEROSMITH stars Joe Perry and Steven Tyler for a rousing finale. The outrageous funk legend took to the Grammys stage wearing platform boots, a silver suit and sported a white Mohican hairstyle.

By far the quirkiest performance of the night came when Kanye West and Jamie Foxx teamed up for a rendition of their 2005 hit GOLD DIGGER. The two stars dressed as marching band leaders and were joined by drummers, a brass section and sexy, chanting cheerleaders for the duet.

West and Foxx then left the stage, changed into dazzling lilac and white suites and returned for a brief rendition of the rap sensation's TOUCH THE SKY.